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Ways to Give Testimony

Different Ways to Share Your Experiences

Sharing your experiences of institutional care as a child in Scotland, is not limited to attending a hearing.

There are other options for you to do this. We will work to ensure that you can provide your testimony in the way that best suits you. Below is some information about the ways in which you can give us your testimony. If you would like some more information about any of these, or would like to discuss an alternatively way to share your testimony with the Forum, please do not hesitate to contact our support staff team.

Attending a Hearing

Attending a Hearing

Coming to the Forum to be heard

  • Most people choose to come to our office in central Glasgow to have a hearing.

  • When your application has been received, one of our Forum support staff will contact you to confirm your hearing date. The Forum can hold hearings 4 days each week, mornings and afternoons – Mondays to Thursdays. We can arrange for you to come at a time during the day which suits you best.

  • You will have a private waiting room which connects to the hearing room, where you will talk to 2 Forum members.

  • We will try to make sure that you feel safe and comfortable during your time with us. One of our support staff will be there to guide you through your time at the Forum and answer any questions you have.

  • You can bring up to two people with you when you come to talk to us - this might be a family member, friend or supporter or may include someone to help you, like an interpreter – as long as they are at least 16 years old. If you want someone independent, we can guide you toward organisations which can provide advocacy.

  • If you or anyone coming with you has a disability, please let us know. We will work with you to find ways for you to give your testimony to the Forum.

  • We will pay travel expenses for you and the person or 2 people you bring with you. We can pay your expenses on the day if that suits you better. Or if it is easier for you we can arrange your travel. Just let us know.

  • We want to help you to give your testimony. We know it might be upsetting. So we will help you contact those who can offer help and advice before and after giving your testimony. You can ask us questions about the work of the Forum. We may ask you questions to help us understand what you tell us.

  • Your testimony is confidential and will be heard in private. Only you, anyone you choose to bring with you and the 2 Forum members will be present in the room.

  • You can bring things with you that are related to your time in institutional care - photos, letters, anything that matters to you about that time in your life. We will treat anything you show us with respect and care and return it to you when you leave the Forum.

  • We will record the hearing, unless you feel unhappy about this. This is to make sure we can fully capture everything you tell us in your hearing. The recording will be held in a secure place. You will have the chance up to 2 weeks after the hearing, if you wish, to hear the tape of what you have said.

  • he hearing is not like a court. It is not formal and there are no set rules. Lawyers do not take part. Your testimony is not evidence. We will not challenge or direct you in what you say.

  • If you would like to attend a hearing, but it is not possible for you to travel to the Forum in Glasgow, please contact us and we will discuss together the best way for you to take part.
Written Testimony

Written Testimony

Sending us your testimony, without attending a hearing

  • You may choose to send us a written testimony.

  • We ask that if you plan to do so, you first apply to the Forum. This will allow us to send you guidance for writing your experience, to help you get across everything you want to and let you know the best way to send it to us.

  • When we receive your written submission, we will schedule a ‘hearing’ time, where 2 Forum Members will read your testimony aloud and hear your experience.

  • Your testimony will be anonymised and stored securely in our database.

  • Your testimony will be used to inform the report.

  • If you want to share any documentation with us, we would ask you not to send original documents. We shall return documents to you once we have considered them. We will not return your testimony back to you due to the confidential nature, so please ensure you keep a copy for yourself.
Other Types of Testimony

Other Types of Testimony

At the Forum, we want to be as accessible as possible for those who want to share their experiences with us.

We understand that it can be hard to write down your experiences, and coming to the Forum may not be an option. For this reason, we also accept testimony by DVD or recorded audio.

If there is another method which you feel would be best for you, please contact the support staff who will discuss the options with you. We will do our best to make reasonable adjustments to make sure everyone who wants to be heard, can be.

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